Tracking Migration Patterns in Atlanta
Atlanta caught our eye due to its high growth rate in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, eight of the 15 cities with the largest population gains between 2010 and 2019 are in the South and Atlanta makes the top five fastest growing top cities
As part of a series, we are looking at several markets and getting a sense of how they were impacted by the pandemic. Did people move out of the city or stay local? How far did they go if they did move out? What other destinations attracted those that did leave? These are some of the questions we will be exploring over the next several blogs.
We’re always trying to get ahead of migration trends at Beekin for the benefit of our customers and our own orientation of where the market is, given that so much of our internal analysis relies upon our ability to keep our finger on the pulse. It’s been an abnormal year given the pandemic and with all this talk of an urban exodus, we wanted to find out for ourselves if it was true and rely on what the data was telling us. We took a look at a few markets we were particularly interested in monitoring.
Today we’re discussing the great city of Atlanta.
Methodology: We’ve taken the data from the USPS change of address data from March 2020 and cross referenced it with the same data set for March 2021. The thought process here is that those back in March 2020 might not have indicated any permanent changes for some time, even if they did leave the cities for some time. If a change of address had been filed as of March 2021, this would indicate a long term commitment. Rather than looking at the ongoings of Philly proper, we decided to keep the methodology we used last time and look at the CBSA as a whole. The “core-based statistical areas (or CBSAs) as outlined by the United States Office of Management and Budget give us a well rounded look at the metro areas and the migration patterns associated with the above metropolitan areas.
Here’s what the Atlanta CBSA looks like from a birds eye view:
Of the observed 2,539,729 home owners and renters we analyzed and identified in the CBSA Atlanta metro area(CBSA code = 12060), 465,765 moved over the course of the year.
Where did everybody go?
CBSA Level Analysis
At the CBSA level, we still see an overwhelming amount of people are remaining in the Atlanta area when they do move. LA, DC and Chicago are enticing some renters but for the most part people are staying put in Atlanta.
State Level Analysis
At the state level, we once again see movement to California and Illinois, inline with what we expect based on the CBSA analysis above.
City Level Analysis
The city level analysis paints a very different picture based on the other two graphs, highlighting the importance of granularity. Again we see the emphasis of Atlantans on staying within the metro area and though these are all technically different cities, they are all not too far from the Atlanta CBSA. Overwhelmingly, no other city holds a candle to the gravity of Atlanta.
Distance Level Analysis
Let’s take a look at our distance data and see how many people moved within various parameters of their original addresses.
We see that the Atlantans also preferred to stay local, just as their Philadelphia counterparts did from our last blog, but we see a greater willingness to move further away as the larger states would suggest. Overall, about a fifth of the renters moved within the last year signaling an area in flux with staying power. We feel confident that Atlanta will remain a dynamic market for investors, asset managers and acquisitions in the coming years.
Thanks for reading. Up next we will be reviewing Chicago, IL!